Orlando Magic News & Notes: Previews Galore, Tyson Chandler Will Play


We are just two days away from game one of Orlando’s opening round playoff series with the Charlotte Bobcats. I preview the series here.

Rick Bonnell of th Charlotte Observer reports that Tyson Chandler practice and will play on Sunday.

"Chandler anticipated heavy swelling on his left elbow, but it never happened. He practiced fully, and though he was sore, he was relieved, considering the fall he took."

You can find that story here.

The crew over at Ball Don’t Lie preview the series.

"And this will be Orlando’s issue throughout these playoffs. If you’re a fan of the Magic, you’re right chuffed that the Magic face the Bobcats first. That Nelson and Lewis will have to answer the bell early. That Howard will have to flex his muscles while trying to stay on the court for 35 minutes. This is absolutely what Orlando needs, and while Charlotte is nobody’s prefight sparring partner, I can’t help but think the Magic depth and talent will win out."

You can find that preview here.

Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie also wonders if the Lakers and Magic can both reach the finals again and you can find that story here.

J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas of The Basketball Jones give their mini video preview here.

The Magic know this series will be a defensive struggle.

"“They’re a great defensive team first,” Magic PG Jameer Nelson said. “Then they create steals. They have a lot of guys out there who are athletic in the passing lanes.”Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said PG Raymond Felton, SG Stephen Jackson, SF Gerald Wallace and PF Boris Diaw all present challenges.“I think Felton’s an attacking guy at the point who has hurt us getting in the paint,” Van Gundy said. “Jackson’s one of the best one-on-one scorers in the league. Gerald Wallace [is] a multi-talented guy. And Boris Diaw is a very tough guy to match-up with, because he’s big and strong for smaller ‘4s’ and he plays on the perimeter against your bigger ‘4s.’ “"

Josh Robbins has that story here.

Update: Bethlehem Shoals has put his preview out.

"A powerhouse that needs to convince a lot of people of that fact versus an eternally fake team with a roster that still doesn’t make sense — even to those who should embrace it most. Anything less than a championship will be a letdown for Orlando; the sooner the Bobcats bow out, the more at ease all will feel in the universe. Don’t expect a series for the faint of eyebrow, though. Something will prick you."

You can read that here.

J.A. Adande calls the Magic the angriest team in the postseason.

"In 2010 you won’t find an angrier team than the Orlando Magic. Dwight Howard leads the league in technical fouls. He leads the league in rebounds and blocked shots — again — and can’t get any serious run for MVP. He had to watch the Lakers celebrate their championship last year in his house.Coach Stan Van Gundy’s past three playoff appearances read: conference finals, conference semis, NBA Finals. He’s won 18 playoff games in the past four years. And yet the only moniker bestowed upon him was Shaq’s label “the master of panic.” No coach out there faces a bigger fight for respect.But the essential anger influx came from Matt Barnes, a bargain free-agent signee who gives the Magic an edge in addition to 8.8 points and 5.5 boards a game, all for the price of $1.6 million. Which is another reason for him to be angry. He thought he’d cash in on the Golden State Warriors’ upset of the Dallas Mavericks in 2007. Instead he signed for $3 million in 2007-08, a one-year deal for $927,000 in Phoenix last season, now this."

You can find that story here.

John Krolik shares six reasons the Magic can win it all this season.

"The Orlando Magic finished with the second-best record of any team in the league. They are the reigning Eastern Conference Champions. Furthermore, the old cliches go that defense and dominant big men win championships. The Magic lead the league in defensive efficiency, and have easily the best big man in the league on their roster. For some reason, the Magic are still regarded as a “gimmicky” choice to take home the Maurice Podoloff trophy come finals time. Maybe it’s because the Magic have never won a title before. Maybe it’s because they take so many threes. Maybe it’s because their coach has a goofy mustache. I don’t know the reason why the Magic still don’t seem to be getting taken seriously as championship contenders, but I do know a bunch of good reasons the Magic can win it all this season."

You can find thats story here.

Alex Kennedy gives his preview and prediction.

"While this is the Bobcats’ first time in the postseason, they’re a team with plenty of veteran experience. Charlotte’s roster has played in a combined 301 playoff games and they’re not satisfied with just clinching a playoff berth. While the other low seeds in the East – Miami, Milwaukee, and Chicago – are all younger teams, the Bobcats are a dangerous group because they have a balance of youth and experience.Orlando has had their eyes set on winning a championship all season long so it’s important that they don’t overlook their first round opponent. While they have had the Bobcats’ number in recent years, this team has a much different makeup and will be looking to pull off a big upset. When you break this down position by position, it’s easy to see why this is such an anticipated series."

Who did he pick? Click here to find out.

Kevin Pelton previews the series.

"Of course, the Orlando offense is much more than just Howard and shooters, though that option is quite effective. The Magic’s offensive improvement in the second half of the season can be traced to the backcourt, where Jameer Nelson got healthy and Vince Carter settled in. Quietly, Carter improved massively over the course of the season. Through January, his True Shooting Percentage was a dreadful 48.9 percent. Over the last two and a half months, he improved that to 60.9 percent.The Bobcats’ strength in this matchup will be their ability to force turnovers at the league’s third-highest rate. That along with keeping opponents off the foul line helped Charlotte lead the league in Defensive Rating despite being only slightly above average in terms of opponent shooting (12th in the league). The Magic is below average in terms of taking care of the basketball, so Gerald Wallace may be able to play the passing lanes and Raymond Felton can cause some problems with his on-ball pressure."

You can read Pelton’s preview here.

Mike Bianchi thinks Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy owes Amway Arena an apology.

"”Sorry guys, I’m not going to shed a tear when a building comes down. Unless it’s my house.”The Am couldn’t believe its ears when those callous words came from Van Grumpy’s ungrateful mouth. In fact, when I spoke with the Am, the fountain out in front of the building was overflowing – not with water but with the tears the Am shed after it heard Van Gundy’s hurtful diatribe.“Coach Van Gundy said he wasn’t going to shed a tear for a building unless it was his house,” the Am said. “Funny, but I thought I was his house. I thought I was the Magic’s house. For 21 years, I overcame a faulty design and gave this franchise everything I had. It’s not my fault the stupid architects put my luxury suites at the top of me instead of in the middle of me. If not for that, I would have lasted another 21 years.”"

You can Bianchi’s blog here.

You can learn more about Van Gundy’s daughter, Shannon, here.

J.J. Redick hopes that a playoff run leads to a new contract.

"“I love the kid. He works hard every night. Look at the improvement he has made, getting stronger and more comfortable with the NBA game,” Vander Weide said. “Do I want keep him? Absolutely. Not only do I like the person, but I like the player he has become.”At issue is how re-signing Redick this summer may drive the Magic even deeper into luxury tax territory. The Magic this season had a payroll of $81.5 million, approximately $12 million over the luxury tax threshold. Although both the salary cap and luxury tax threshold will drop next season, the Magic payroll is expected to rise, especially if they bring back Redick with a new contract.“He is going to get money. He’s had a good year. We just don’t know where the market will take him,” Vander Weide. “But we’re prepared to be in tax again, and prepared to have a very deep roster in order to compete for championships.”"

Tim Povtak has that story here.

Austin Burton thinks this postseason will in fact, make Redick rich.

"2. J.J. Redick — It wasn’t that long ago when J.J. looked like he’d be joining Trajan Langdon in Russia before he’d ever be an impact player in the NBA. It took four years, but now he’s finally getting enough minutes and shots to show what he can do. Granted, 9.6 points in 22 minutes a night doesn’t make J.J. the next Dan Majerle, but he’s proven he can be a valuable bench guy on a contender or even a starter on some teams."

You can read Burton’s “10 Players Who Will Get Rich From The NBA Postseason” here.

Rick Bonnell writes about “Larry Brown players.”

"So what defines a Larry Brown player?“One, he has to have basketball savvy,’’ Jordan said. “His IQ as a basketball player has to be high, maybe even more so than talent.“Two, they need to be athletic – we have a very, very athletic team.“Three, they have to have a defensive skill set.’’"

You can find that story here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and at Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).